An exact 3-hour journey by train brought me to Bern.
The road was meandering between hills, lake shores, the pages of my book and several words exchanged with the traveler adjacent to me.
I had a blue sky day ahead and a lovely scenery to look at through the lens of my camera.
Following the detailed advice of the friendly hotel receptionist firstly I headed uphill towards the Rose garden. Behind low stone walls I found an exquisite park, home of more than 220 different, precisely described aromatic rose types. Magnificent! Some corners were perfectly embodying my childhood images of secret garden from the novel of the same name by Frances Burnett: stone fountains of mythic figures, vast rose bushes, pebbled alleys and young ladies hiding their faces under the brim of their hats.
But what was attracting the most in there was the spectacular panoramic view towards the UNESCO protected Bern’s old town. From the long park terrace one could count the orange roofs situated between the Münster Platz and Zytglogge and admire the huddled between the water sleeves old town.
Trying to memorise the city from above, I resumed my walk, crossing the Nydeggbrücke without missing the chanced to get to to know Björk, Finn, Ursina, Pedro and Berna,the lovely bears, inhabiting the famous Bärenpark on the shore of Aare river. According to the urban legends here, the bears were the first animals found in the city of Bern, which explains the etymology of the toponym as well.
Crossing the bridge, continuing in Gerechtigkeitgasse and in Kramgasse I got enchanted by all the little decoration or flower shops, neatly displayed in the two pedestrian galleries. Just across the house of Einstein where he lived until the end of his days, a flower shop with unusual decoration drew my attention. Here usual objects like a female’s leather bag or a pair of shoes were creatively transformed into flower pots. It’s almost impossible to miss this spot with a beautifully decorated arc and patio.
After admiring Zytglogge, the theatre and the Cathedrald, the numerous city fountains and the Rathaus I took my time to rest in the garden of Bundeshaus. The green yard with a splendid view towards the river the hill on the opposite side was a preferred spot for a picnic or some life-size chess playing. Later this day I was joined by my charming diligent husband and some of the spots we together enjoyed the most are:
Tab Tim Thai Restaurant in Münstergasse 55. Food here was so good, that a dinner only was not enough. Ten minutes before the opening time on the next day we were back for lunch. Mouth-watering lab kai, and salads. All the poultry-based dishes we have tried were amazing, besides the staff was more the lovely. And the spicy was really spicy.
The Saturday market on the Bundesplatz, where we had an exploration walk in different types of mushroom, cheeses and all kind food and flower varieties.
Holz Art under number 36 in Münstergasse. The atelier of Mr. Grünert was like the workshop of Santa Claus. Shelves all over were generously covered with amazingly accurate wooden carved figures. We fell impressed by the miniatures scenes in a matchbox and took a little chef in his kitchen to our home back in Milan.
Tibits in Gurtengasse 3 an elegant and cosy coffee shop in the morning and a vegetarian restaurant in the evenings. Soft and foamy cappuccino for the best start of the day.
Yamatuti, a wonderful design items and toys shop, where we have seen the best hot air balloon.
Last, but not least: hotel Alpenblick in Kasernenstrasse 29, with its neat bright and quiet room, excellent breakfasts and the most pleasant winter garden to share a glass of wine at. This place really contributed to the pleasant stay in town.